Interest and online behavior advertising inundates us daily when websites use your browsing history to predict what ads you should see. Luckily, there are some free tools with participating advertisers that allow you to opt out. The advertisers in question dig into your life, peeking into your browser cookies so they can tell where you recently visited and what may entice you into clicking more ads.
The Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice page allows you to view over 125 participating advertising companies and have a simple tool to help you opt out. I personally have visited this page more than once because this tool needs to be used on every computer you use to browse the Internet. I also make sure to visit the Your Online Choices page that offers similar services but different companies appear. Depending on your browsing habits you may need to visit both.
Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice - You can view the entire list of participating companies, see what companies have current ads customized based on your behavior and see what you have opted out from already. Use the Select All checkbox to make it even quicker to opt out.
Your Online Choices - this service is a bit harder to scroll through the long list, with no select all. It does offer you the ability to quickly toggle on/off each advertiser, including those that are not reporting correctly. It was interesting to see the variance of companies found on each page.
I suggest you bookmark this page as I update tools or bookmark those sites themselves. I was shocked the first time I visited to see the number of companies in the alliance that are not affiliated but share data access in the cookies for advertising. Some would say you could also exclusively use Private Browsing services that every major browser now offers. However, it is not the default action of Internet browsers and you must actively switch to private tabs and sessions.
Leave other tools and sites in the comments below. I am guessing many will say to turn off all cookies or use add on tools, but those can block cookies you use for other preferences or slow your browser down. Either way you need to take prevention steps.